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Bing Cooking Up Social Search, Microsoft Exec

While Google has been highly criticized for biasing its Google+ search results in to ‘search Plys Your World,” Bing on the other hand is much friendlier with not only Facebook, but Twitter also. In fact, Bing is now the only search engine that has explicit deals to access data from both Facebook and Twitter.

stefan weitz talks about bing social search

But it’s not like Bing is the all-social, all-the-time search engine. In fact, Bing has been oddly reticent about incorporating social data into its results, especially considering that Twitter and Facebook themselves have relatively poor search offerings.

In an interview, last week, with Liz Gannes over at AllThingsD, Bing’s Director Stephan Weitz explains Bing’s reaction to Google’s new social search ventures and why Bing doesn’t include more social data into its results:

“We’ve been blending social signals for 18 months now, even just to do things like detecting possible spikes when we see lots of tweets coming in on a certain topic. And we’ve a separate SERP — a separate page — where you can see social results.

The first thing is, we’re taking this pretty slow, and there’s a pretty good reason for that. People don’t understand how amazingly complex it is to make sense of any social signal. So we’re being very conservative about where we fire social results.

That’s the first thing; the second thing is there’s more than likes and shares. It’s more about augmenting this mechanical product — the algorithmic search engine — with people. So we shipped things like understanding the cities where you live, friends’ opinions on stock quotes — a bunch of things besides just firing off social search,” Weitz revealed.

When asked, “When are you going to press your social advantage in Bing, seeing as you have both Facebook and Twitter deals and Google doesn’t?

Weitz replied, “You’re going to see the culmination of a lot of our learnings in the not too distant future. All those lessons will be applied into something that I think is pretty interesting. How we think about social is always evolving, and the next turn of the crank is more differentiated than we’ve seen in the past.”

On why Bing hasn’t capitalized more on Google’s Search Plus Your World issues — and S Shouldn’t you be mounting a “switch to Bing” campaign? Weitz summed up Google’s approach:

“We are doing some ads this week.

They [Google] are doing a nice job on their own of handling this problem.

But they are learning just like we are. They did what we didn’t want to do, which was make the user experience peppered with this stuff, with +1s everywhere, the Google+ content in the top corner. I think [Google] realized we were ahead and they overextended. But I know a ton of guys there and they’re smart and they’re reacting to what has been said,” Weitz concludes.

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